Friday Fictioneers – Only The Young

(Author’s note: I’ve been a year at my job now. I am quite pleased. Celebrate with me in the Fictioneers!)

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©J. Hardy Carroll

Only The Young

by Miles H. Rost

Bradley turned nine today.

The party was spectacular. His friends played in the yard, ate hot dogs and burgers, devoured cake like it was nothing.

After it was all done, he sat by my side, watching his favorite evening TV show, Tour of Duty. 

“Daddy, will I ever have to go to war?”

I looked down at him, my eyes remembering the days when I asked that question.

“Not unless you want to.”
“Are you sure?”
“They don’t force you to go anymore. Not like when I was 18.”

He curled up next to me, as we silently finished the show.

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Friday Fictioneers – As Lights Fall

(Author’s note: Job is getting more hectic, more busy. Hoping to have more time now to do things. Didn’t get it last week. Here’s this week’s work:)

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© Jean L. Hays

Reach

by Miles H. Rost

An investment of decades.

Bart slowly scanned the large stretch of land in Eastern Oregon that he called home. The sun was approaching the horizon, bathing him in an eerie orange.

He bought the land with a major investment he made just after World War II. He did well with the cattle, until he sold them a month before. The sale put into a safe trust for his grandchildren, provided they took up a marketable trade.

He put his back to the rock, and watched the sun go down.

As his final breath left him, it was his last call.

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Friday Fictioneers – The Road Not Taken

(Author’s note: With the final part of my Korean experience finally complete, I now focus on the next phase of life. This means that Music and Fiction will likely get an upgrade/update in some way. Once I get settled back in a routine, this should happen. Until then, it’s Fictioneers and other stories I plan to write. Hope you enjoy today’s offering!)

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© Bjorn Rudberg

The Road Not Taken

by Miles H. Rost

“Daddy, do you ever wish you did something different?”

Paul looked down at his daughter, 9 years old and ever inquisitive.

“There are one or two things, sweetie. But, then you wouldn’t be here. That’s not a wish I would make.”

She put her arms around his waist, and hugged tightly.

“Do you regret losing your arm?”

He looked down at his sweetie, and sadly smiled.

“My arm saved 4 men in Iraq, sweetie. I would not trade that, no.”

Paul swept his arm under her and picked her up.

“Honey, my arm brought me home. No regrets.”

“I love you, Daddy!”

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Friday Fictioneers – Second Chances

(Author’s Note: Nothing major to report. Just working like I normally do. Enjoy today’s fictioneers, because I think it’s a good one.)

PHOTO PROMPT -© Vijaya Sundaram

Second Chances

by Miles H. Rost

“It’s been nearly 15 years, Rachel.”

“Since?”

“Since I’ve been on a date like this.”

“The last time you were on a rooftop, watching fireworks and drinking mojitos?”

Charles looked at Rachel with a wan smile.

Rachel’s eyes crinkled, looking deep into his face.

They both scooted closer to each other, her head resting on his shoulder.

“The difference this time is that I’m not in the middle of a war zone.”

“Which zone?”

“Kandahar.”

Rachel sighed, her displeasure obvious.

“Does it bother you?”

“Nah. I just miss Kandahar. But, I know I’m safe with my big Marine.”

He smiled, watching the fireworks go off.

Friday Fictioneers – (They’re Coming To) America

(Author’s Note: Nothing. On with the show!)

PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

(To Look For) America

by Miles H. Rost

“So that’s the beacon of freedom?”

“It was.”

The young girl looked off the side of the boat, seeing the burnt out remains of the Battery Park area from the boat.

“Was?”

“Didn’t you know? This country has long lost it’s freedom.”

The young girl looked up at her papa.

“But why did people lose their freedom?”

“Because they listened to the wrong people. And in turn, they let the wrong people get power.”

“Why are we going there?”

He hefted up his Bible and energy pistol.

“Transiens Adiuva Nos”

The little girl finally understood, as the boat slowly passed under a gaping hole in the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

 

Friday Fictioneers – I’m Not Home

(Author’s notes: Sorry for not being as productive lately. It’s been a really tough time here in the land down under, and because of all that’s going on, my attention has been on getting myself stable, then getting myself out of here. I want to thank each and every one of you for reading my stories the last two weeks and giving me great feedback. You all make me so proud. Here is today’s fictioneers story.) 

 

I’m Not Home

by Miles H. Rost

Heidi Markham glared at her mother.

“We’ve been coming to Dad’s grave for 14 years. I’m about to graduate. You never told me what happened to him.”
“I guess it is that time,” her mother sighed, sitting down next to the flat gravestone, “Your dad came back from the Gulf, and he wasn’t right. But he always told me he was, so I didn’t say much about it.”

Heidi slowly knelt down by her Mom.

“He never told anyone. He never told me!”

She started to sob. Heidi hugged her, tears flowing down her face.

“He was too stubborn to ask for help, and he took his life. He never truly made it home.”

Callings (aka The Gathering – Part B)

The Gathering – Part B: Callings
(Story V of the Warrior Series)
by Miles H. Rost

(To see the start of The Gathering subset, go to the last story “The Gathering” (Part A) at the link.)

—-

“All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.  For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” – 1 Corinthians 12:11-14

—-

“New Recruits, come forth!”

The man we all called P.S. was a commanding figure. He wasn’t a tall man by any stretch of the imagination. He was shorter than other warriors, but his voice and his spirit commanded attention. He was a slightly tanned man, looking to be of Asian descent. In spite of his shorter stature, he maintained his health well and looked formidable. He wore a dark blue tunic, and work trousers that were just a few shades of blue lighter. His buzz-cut hair symbolized the seriousness of his charge, of his role.

When those of us looked at him, as we moved forward to the “river area” in front of the stage, we could feel the atmosphere of authority flow off of him in waves. Even some of my fellow recruits were taken aback by the amount of authority that surged outward from this grand commander.

As we approached and was in front of where P.S. stood, I saw a familiar face. A fellow warrior from Antioch Division named Joseph was standing next to me, ready to receive the words that were about to come. Joseph was a man of great knowledge, and a man of prayer. He was able to talk the old language of machines, and could be of great use. He gave me and Tia a nod, as we stood there. The music that was playing before had died down, but was not out as our general started to speak.

“Our Father is rich in many different ways. I pray that each one of you recruits will be richly strengthened in the Spirit, so Christ may live within each of you.”

P.S. looked down towards each one of us, a mixture of compassion and stern military discipline in his steeled eyes.

“Each one of you have had to deal with being opposed in your faithful walk. You’ve been attacked by the devil! You’ve been told to stay when God wanted you to get moving, or vice versa. That’s when we gotta rely on the Spirit! That’s when we need to call on The Spirit, to give us reinforcement and strength. You are warriors, but warriors cannot fight when they’re deprived of the source of life.”

Tia lifted her hands to the sky, as I bent my head and opened my hands in front of me. Joseph raised his hands in front of him, parking them just in front of his shoulders.

“We need the grace and strength to continue to walk this walk of faith, to fight, to continue onward! No matter what tribe you’re from, what lands you may have been in before, you are here on this day! The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is absolutely critical to your success and endurance!”

P.S. paced on the stage in the way a General paces when they assess and exhort their troops.

“New Recruits, I can see that some of you were reluctant in accepting the training to become leaders. But understand that our Father is raising up an army from the dry bones of our old lives. He is fulfilling the promise of Ezekiel 37, to breathe his breath on the valley of dry bones, the people who haven’t been walking well in His grace.”

His voice started to lift and to quicken. It became more urgent, more focused, and with more force.

“It’s only when the spirit of God our Father enters into these dry bones, that they can stand up and begin to move. And I have some news for you, recruits! Those dry bones, the ones that God our Father is breathing into right now…they are you!”

The air around all of us new recruits started feeling heavy. The heaviness wasn’t a smothering type, but instead a thickness that felt strong and full of life. I perceived that Tia was being prepped in her spirit, as I could feel the displacement of air that signaled her arm’s movements. I could sense the placidity of Joseph, the calmness of the readying that he was receiving. I perceived my bent head, arms stretched but bent in front of me, with my hands out like a farmer praying for rain.

“We require the breath of God to continue our fight! To continue doing what we have been charged to do. Each one of you new recruits, open your hearts! Open yourself up to the life-giving breath of God!” P.S. said, the fire and steel in his voice rising with even more authority, “Commanders! Division commanders! Sergeants! Gunnies! Come up here and minister! Pray for these new recruits, officers! Help them receive what God wants to pour out on them!”

I could feel a great electricity in the air, a rushing spirit flowing around our legs and our heads like a raging river. I heard the voices of my fellow recruits rising up, urgent in their prayers and quickened in their pleading. My own prayers started coming forward in spurts, like it wanted to come rushing out but was behind some sort of a barrier. I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear and perceive what was happening around me, even through my own prayers to my Father.

I heard the voices of my fellow warriors around me. I could hear the cries of Tia, the pleading and the laughter in her voice as she continued praying. I recognized the voices of various sergeants and commanders as they walked around.

I didn’t count how long it was, but I felt a hand on my head. My hands were out and in a receiving mode, and I heard the voice of someone praying out loud and in earnest. I couldn’t make out the words very well, and after a short time, he left. Shortly thereafter, another hand was placed on my head, in the back. I recognized the sound of my mentor, Brian. He was there for a short time, but also left. I felt all of this and heard all of this, but I did not see a single thing.

Suddenly, I felt a white heat on my ears. I felt a great sound fill my ears. I could feel and hear the sound of Miguel, the leader of the Freedom Division Martial Band praying over me, but it was at a great distance. The heat spread to over my eyes, and I felt a greater voice fall upon my being.

“Kneel, and receive.”

A great weight fell on my shoulders, and it felt like it had a strength that was inhuman. I knew it wasn’t from Miguel, and I had no choice but to fall to one knee.

Suddenly, a flash came to my mind. A flash of a memory. A memory of kneeling by my bed, praying for my classmates, praying for my mother, and more.

Knight. You are a warrior,” the great voice said, “You were a prayer warrior a long time ago, my son.”

It finally clicked. The gears and the mechanics finally hit the top of the hour in my head. My Father was talking to me.

“You have come this way, Knight. Your path has taken you here. Now, pick up the mantle you were given.”

Before I could even ask the question out loud, the answer came.

“I commissioned you as a prayer warrior in the past. Continue it, son, from this day on.”

I could say nothing except “Thank you, Lord,” repeatedly.

As my eyes and ears calmed from the meeting with Father, P.S. gave the signal that all was clear with us. It would take a few minutes, but slowly I was able to get up and walk to my seat, balancing myself with the edge of the stage.

I sat back on the wooden half-log bench, taking in sharp breaths, as Tia smiled down.

“What were you feeling, Knight? What was it you were feeling?”

I looked up at her, as I was heaving breaths and getting in a lot of air.

“I know what my role is. The training I have done in the past in the Western Lands, everything that led up to today, has been to give me back the role I had.”

Tia looked at him, hands out and eye open, as if she was saying “What was it?!?!”

“I’m in the Prayer regiment. I’m a prayer warrior”

Tia laughed heartily and beamed after hearing that, giving me a hearty slap on the back. I coughed, but felt happy because of what happened. I then asked her how she felt.

“Me? I felt…” she paused, thinking back a second, “…I guess I felt joy. A joy in freedom. Like I didn’t have all this baggage hanging around and dragging me down. I felt light, not only physical light, but also light weight. Like I didn’t have to worry about anything.”

This was something new. Something I never experienced before. Hearing people have their burden lifted, and me getting my new marching orders. From God, the Great General, no less. As I was thinking about this, suddenly we heard a scratching up on the stage.

“This gathering, warriors, is one where not only do we learn about ourselves and our Father, but we also learn about tactics and strategy here. And we have some visitors from the Western Lands, who traveled here to speak with all of us about things…”

That night was a full blur of so many different things, that we had to take more notes. For a good long while into the dusky night, we listened and learned. We rejoiced, we prayed, we were called forth, and we were even given release from problems that were affecting us.

Even I received release from the disappointments in my life. Me, Knight, the one who always worried and expected the worst case scenario, now was released from the old disappointments and was brought into the light of truth and confidence.

The thing is…this was not the only big thing that happened at this gathering. There was one more event that totally blew me away.

To Be Continued…